Stacey Vallas, MS
Licensed Professional Counselor Associate
About me and my approach to counseling
My primary aim in working with clients is to create a strong, positive, collaborative relationship that fosters exploration, understanding, growth, and healing.
I will meet you where you are with openness, warmth, and curiosity, and get to know you and your life experiences. I’ll encourage you to feel the same nonjudgmental acceptance and deep curiosity about yourself and your relationships. We’ll work together to foster your self-exploration and insight into where you are, how you got here, and where you want to be heading. Through the therapeutic process, I’ll help you grow more empowered to make the changes you need to make to realize your hopes.
I believe that we all possess a deep wisdom about what is best for us, an inner voice that guides us toward what we truly want. I also believe that each of us is drawn to strong, positive connections with others and with our most life-affirming self, and that we all have the capacity to overcome challenges and create fulfilling lives. Sometimes, though, in the face of obstacles, doubt, or loss, trauma or life transitions, we lose touch with that inner wisdom. We can get stuck in anxiety, anger, loneliness, or low self-esteem, and need support hearing and trusting that inner voice again.
Obstacles to well-being come in many forms—hurtful relationships past and present, systemic discrimination and social injustice, self-defeating patterns of thought and action, and avoidance of painful emotions and risk.
My practice integrates psychodynamic, emotion-focused, and existential therapies, and I always tailor my approach to best meet my clients’ needs.
I am mindful of how I bring my privileged and marginalized identities into our work together. I value collaborating to create a therapeutic alliance in which clients feel safe and honored exploring all dimensions of their identities.
Education and training
I am a Licensed Professional Counselor Associate. I received my Masters in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at Portland State University and also hold a PhD in English and American Literature from Stanford University. Before becoming a counselor, I taught literature and humanities to college students for many years. I’ve always been drawn to the transformative power of stories to illuminate our deepest selves and our links to each other, to history, and to community.
I counsel individuals and couples with diverse backgrounds and experiences seeking support with a range of issues, including life transitions, anxiety, depression, grief and loss, trauma, relationship problems, and generally feeling stuck or lost. I have experience working on a crisis line, in a community counseling center, and in a university counseling center.